Criminals are clever. Dumb, and dangerous, but clever.
Case in point: Two felons in Missouri used a legal, but shady, smartphone app to lure an innocent family out of their home. Once the family left, out of fear their grown daughter was in danger, burglars broke into their home.
The burglars used a smartphone app called a caller ID spoofing app. With the app, you can change the telephone number that pops up on someone else's caller ID when you call them.
These burglars, James Woolsey and Lenny Hebert, called the Streetman family. However, the caller ID said it was the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The burglars told the Streetmans that their grown daughter, who lives in another home, was in danger. The crooks suggested the Streetmans go to her home. They did, although they were suspicious of the phone call.
Note: Caller ID spoofing apps are legal. However, under the 2009 Caller ID Act, it is illegal to use them to commit a crime.
The problem is, because of the caller ID spoofing app, when the Streetmans called the telephone number that had popped up on their caller ID, they were in fact connected with the police department. Worse, the police told the Streetmans that, while they were unaware of any police contacting them, their undercover officers sometimes call people using fake names.
The burglars' scam was complex. When the Streetmans asked the so-called police for their own daughter's address, the burglars knew it (it turns out, they had gone to school with her). So, the family continued driving to their daughter's home.
However, they did call a neighbor to check on their home. He found the two men in the process of burglarizing the Streetmans' home. The Texas County, Missouri, police said Woolsey and Hebert were stealing firearms and other property.
Note: Woolsey and Hebert face multiple charges, including tampering with a motor vehicle and second degree burglary.